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July wasn't a stellar month for hiring in the US healthcare sector, with fewer jobs added in ambulatory care, hospitals and nursing facilities compared with a month earlier.

That said, the revisions for the two previous months - May and June - looked very good, with a combined gain of 59,000 jobs as compared to previous BLS reports.

The economy added 157,000 jobs last month as the nation's unemployment rate dropped to a near-record low of 3.9 percent.

The jobs figures follow second quarter data last week showing the United States economy grew at an annualised rate of 4.1%.

Economists had expected the jobs report to show nonfarm payrolls increasing by 193,000 on net. It's the second lowest monthly jobs total of the year.

Among the unemployed, the number of people looking for work after losing or quitting their jobs fell by almost 290,000 to 1.8 million.

The BLS figures contrast with those of payroll services firm ADP Inc., whose employment report issued August 1 stated that USA private sector employment increased by 219,000 jobs in July.

The slowdown in hiring last month likely is not the result of trade tensions, which have escalated in recent days, but rather because of a shortage of workers.

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One cloud on the horizon has been the Trump administration's trade fights with China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

The moderation in employment gains and steady wage growth could ease concerns about the economy overheating, and keep the Fed on a gradual path of monetary policy tightening. Transportation equipment had the largest gains in that sector, with 13,000 new jobs, followed by machinery with 6,000 jobs.

The labor market has accelerated as the economy expands. The Federal Reserve is closely watching the wages component as it seeks to meet its 2 percent inflation target. Over the past year, it has hired more than a half-million Americans and stands as the leading job-creating sector.

Restaurants, bars and hotels added 40,000 jobs, the most in nine months.

Manufacturing employment continued to rise briskly, by 37,000 in July, in line with business optimism in the sector and on track to far outpace last year's 207,000 gain.

She'll be overseeing the National Council for the American Worker, a cross-department body launched in July by President Trump to help train and retrain Americans for the available jobs.

The slip in hiring last month may be temporary. The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not reflect those of Berenberg Capital Markets, LLC.


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